It’s almost impossible to ignore the pain associated with sinusitis. The sinuses are the cavities, as narrow as a pencil lead, behind the bones of the nasal bones and eyebrows. They are lined with mucous membranes which act to prevent infection by producing mucous that keeps the nasal passages moist and traps particles of dirt and bacteria. These sensitive mucous membranes can become swollen and secrete mucous in response to a trigger such as an allergy or a head cold. Since the sinus cavities are tiny, any build-up is bound to increase pressure and this is what causes the pain of sinusitis. What's worse is that these tiny motionless rivers of mucous can become sites of infection.


Many people with acute sinusitis will recover without treatment. However, during a sinus attack follow these handy tips to minimise the chances of your sinuses getting worse:

  • Drink at least three litres of clear fluids daily as this will help stop the mucous from becoming too thick, which is when it tends to become infected. 
  • Avoid alcohol as it further swells mucous membranes. 
  • A number of foods can help in relieving the symptoms associated with sinusitis. Garlic is both a mucolytic and antibiotic and can help with the congestion. Other good foods include onion, horseradish, chilli, ginger, fenugreek and wasabi (Japanese green mustard). Ethical Nutrients Sinus and Hayfever Relief and Blooms Sinus and Congestion Relief are herbal formulations that contain a mixture of these ingredients that can be beneficial.


Other sinus-beating herbs include elder, eyebright and golden rod. These can be found in formulations such as Sinupret

Forte and Blooms Golden Seal. Vitamin C is also helpful in sinusitis as this will stall an infection and is an effective natural

antihistamine. Taking 1000mg every two to three hours can be constructive in easing sinusitis. If you are sinus-prone,

taking horseradish and garlic tablets throughout the year can be helpful. Available formulations include Nature’s Own Triple

Strength Garlic + C, Horseradish and Health Plus Super Strength Garlic Horseradish and Vitamin C. A travel pack

formulation is also available by Blackmores - Blackmores On the Go Super Strength Horseradish Garlic C Travel Pack.


Other self-help options available for sinusitis are:

  • steam inhalations, such as a Vicks inhalation before bed. This will help clear the sinuses as will the vapour from a hot shower. 
  • Warm compresses held to the affected areas of the face or over-the-counter.
  • Pain relief such as paracetamol can help to ease the pain. Your pharmacist may recommend a decongestant to take or your doctor may prescribe nasal corticosteroids or antibiotics if necessary
  • Sinus Rinse: Saline sinus rinse can help break down the mucus and relief the congestion. Fess saline sprays are drug free and safe to use whilst pregnant.